Jessie Reyez

Jessie Reyez

How did you got into music ?
My family would always play music in the house. My dad played guitar and my brother played clarinet
You grew up in Toronto. What was your childhood like ?
Dope. I've been blessed with a loving family. Being from an immigrant family can be difficult because you are essentially growing up with two different cultures and customs but in Toronto there are people from everywhere, so it's almost a norm. Personally I felt as if I was encouraged to wave my parents Colombian flag along with my own a Canadian one.
What about the music scene in Toronto ?
Our music scene has always been existent. We have roots and I personally find mine in hip-hop. K-os and Kardinal are artists who's songs I grew up singing along to. We've always had musical history and roots in Toronto but in the last few years thanks to the consistency of international artists including Drake, The Weeknd and Alessia Cara, Toronto has been given a global spotlight. A chance to showcase the talent that has always been here.
You're from Colombia, Do you feel related to that culture ?
I was born in downtown Toronto to a very Colombian family. Our house was infused with Colombian culture. Food, music, customs, art. When you are born into an immigrant family, it's almost as if you are being raised in two alternate realities. At home we would speak only Spanish and listen to Boleros or salsa, where as at school it was English and whatever was on the radio. Colombia is a part of me thanks to my parents.
You're often described as someone who sings to cure your heartbrakes. Do you agree ?
No. I wish. If that were the case I'd be cured. I write songs and sing because it's like a reflex for me. I equate it to; if you got food poisoning and felt sick, you would throw up no? So for me it's similar; when I'm fucked or hella upset, it's just me trying to get it out.
[Jessie Reyez]
Gatekeeper examines the sexism in the music industry. Did you experience it yourself ?
Yes. I went through it years ago. There is a mini film that talks about what happened to me online "gatekeeper" the short film
You've worked with Calvin Harris. As a young artist, what bring you this experiences ?
I try to make opportunities even when there are no obvious ones. I hustle. I posted covers. I tagged people in my shitty YouTube videos. I would walk around with mix tapes in my bag. I would do open mics. A year ago I was talking to my cousin and she mentioned something interesting. I decided not to go to college when I was younger. She said "If you were to equate you chasing your musical aspirations to a school curriculum - it's as if you are acquiring your masters based on the years you've put in." I don't think I'm there yet but I think I've worked my ass off and I'm prepared to keep going until I've reached my goals.
What message you want to bring in the new album ?
Honesty. Life. Just a reflection of my reality.
You've been nominated so many times at Juno. How do you feel ?
Happy. Honored. Humbled.
Some artists influence you ? Are you dreaming about new collaborations ?
Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, Princess Nokia. I think they are brilliant and talented. I think truth resonates and I feel that when I hear them.
From Spring-Summer 2018 issue
Photo: Tom de Peyret
Stylist: Louis Batistelli
Hair Raynald @ Backstage agency
Make up Lorandy @ Backstage agency

Jessie Reyez

How did you got into music ?
My family would always play music in the house. My dad played guitar and my brother played clarinet
You grew up in Toronto. What was your childhood like ?
Dope. I've been blessed with a loving family. Being from an immigrant family can be difficult because you are essentially growing up with two different cultures and customs but in Toronto there are people from everywhere, so it's almost a norm. Personally I felt as if I was encouraged to wave my parents Colombian flag along with my own a Canadian one.
What about the music scene in Toronto ?
Our music scene has always been existent. We have roots and I personally find mine in hip-hop. K-os and Kardinal are artists who's songs I grew up singing along to. We've always had musical history and roots in Toronto but in the last few years thanks to the consistency of international artists including Drake, The Weeknd and Alessia Cara, Toronto has been given a global spotlight. A chance to showcase the talent that has always been here.
You're from Colombia, Do you feel related to that culture ?
I was born in downtown Toronto to a very Colombian family. Our house was infused with Colombian culture. Food, music, customs, art. When you are born into an immigrant family, it's almost as if you are being raised in two alternate realities. At home we would speak only Spanish and listen to Boleros or salsa, where as at school it was English and whatever was on the radio. Colombia is a part of me thanks to my parents.
You're often described as someone who sings to cure your heartbrakes. Do you agree ?
No. I wish. If that were the case I'd be cured. I write songs and sing because it's like a reflex for me. I equate it to; if you got food poisoning and felt sick, you would throw up no? So for me it's similar; when I'm fucked or hella upset, it's just me trying to get it out.
[Jessie Reyez]
Gatekeeper examines the sexism in the music industry. Did you experience it yourself ?
Yes. I went through it years ago. There is a mini film that talks about what happened to me online "gatekeeper" the short film
You've worked with Calvin Harris. As a young artist, what bring you this experiences ?
I try to make opportunities even when there are no obvious ones. I hustle. I posted covers. I tagged people in my shitty YouTube videos. I would walk around with mix tapes in my bag. I would do open mics. A year ago I was talking to my cousin and she mentioned something interesting. I decided not to go to college when I was younger. She said "If you were to equate you chasing your musical aspirations to a school curriculum - it's as if you are acquiring your masters based on the years you've put in." I don't think I'm there yet but I think I've worked my ass off and I'm prepared to keep going until I've reached my goals.
What message you want to bring in the new album ?
Honesty. Life. Just a reflection of my reality.
You've been nominated so many times at Juno. How do you feel ?
Happy. Honored. Humbled.
Some artists influence you ? Are you dreaming about new collaborations ?
Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, Princess Nokia. I think they are brilliant and talented. I think truth resonates and I feel that when I hear them.
From Spring-Summer 2018 issue
Photo: Tom de Peyret
Stylist: Louis Batistelli
Hair Raynald @ Backstage agency
Make up Lorandy @ Backstage agency